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May 4th, 2017
AAM Awarded APSEA Export Award for Singapore 3D Map

AAM was recently awarded the highly esteemed Export Award at the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) for industry leading work to generate a 3D national map of Singapore in support of the city state’s Smart Nation agenda.

In 2014 AAM was commissioned to complete this challenging project by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

According to AAM’s Daniel Kruimel, Business Development Manager Southeast Asia, the work involved in generating Singapore’s 3D digital map can be outlined in three major phases.

The first phase was to capture oblique and nadir imagery, complemented by high density LiDAR through aerial survey. With Singapore’s dense urban landscape, monsoonal climate and very busy and tightly controlled airspace, this initial phase proved complex and challenging.  AAM’s extensive experience in conducting previous aerial surveys throughout SE Asia proved vital in putting together a strategy to ensure a successful outcome.

A local processing centre was established so that the captured data could be used to generate a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the entire country, including photo-realistic and accurate 3D Building Models (LOD2) of every building in Singapore. The modelling is based on CityGML – an open standard from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) – to ensure interoperability across all government authorities and futureproofing of the model.

The second major phase in creating the 3D digital map was undertaking ground surveys so that more detail could be added. A vehicle based mobile mapping survey captured both spherical imagery and LiDAR on Singapore’s dense road network, comprising over 5,000 kilometres. Once again, climate challenges were contended, with both rain and smoke haze causing extensive delays. Again, 3D Models were produced in CityGML format (LOD0 – LOD2), this time of Transportation, Relief and City Furniture Models.

Enhancing the airborne produced 3D models makes up the third and current phase of this project. Extra details are captured via additional measurements and photography taken on-site and at ground level. As a result, textures on building facades can be upgraded and more detail captured in “Void Deck” areas – which are a hybrid of both indoor and outdoor spaces at the bottom of apartment buildings in Singapore. Void Deck areas are frequently used by local communities and often contain important facilities and infrastructure.

The Singaporean Government is very vocal with its vision of making Singapore a leading global (and perhaps first) smart nation and the 3D digital map produced by AAM is a key piece of enabling infrastructure to support Singapore’s Smart Nation agenda. Driverless taxis, Building Management Systems, Sustainable Energy use and improved pedestrian networks are just some of the many examples of smart city applications that utilise the 3D digital map.

AAM will continue to work with SLA to develop strategies to maintain the 3D map’s currency and accuracy, thereby ensuring a maximum return on investment and that this critical piece of infrastructure is used to its fullest potential.